Cotton Acreage Shrinks in Xinjiang in 2009
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Cotton acreage in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a key cotton production base in northwestern China, shrank to 20.16 million Mu (1.34 million hectares) in 2009, down 19.4 percent from 2008.
Cotton output in 2009 is expected to top 2.37 million tonnes, down 21.3 percent from 2008, according to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Bureau of Statistics.
Xinjiang usually took about one third of the total cotton output in China in the past years, according to the bureau.
The cotton acreage dived this year mainly because China's textile exports slumped last year and demand for cotton was sluggish, according to the bureau.
Meanwhile, the cotton acreage slump also resulted from droughts and hails in many areas in the region this summer.
Xinjiang planned to cut cotton acreage to below 20 million Mu (1.33 million hectares) in five years beginning in 2008 and then to 16 million Mu (1.07 million hectares) in another five years, according to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Bureau of Agriculture.
Meanwhile cotton output would be maintained between 2 million tonnes and 2.5 million tonnes through promoting high technology, according to the bureau.
(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2009)